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This Week in Northern California

Series/Special. (2011) (CC) (Stereo)




San Francisco, CA, USA

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Channel 93 (639 MHz)






California 9, New Hampshire 6, San Francisco 5, Scott 5, Santorum 3, Brown 3, Davis 3, Marisa Lagos 3, Belva 3, Carla 2, Rick Santorum 2, Us 2, Marinucci 2, Scott Shafer 2, Carla Marinucci 2, New York 2, Romney 2, America 2, John Mcca 1, Perry 1,
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  PBS    This Week in Northern California    Series/Special.   
   (2011)  (CC) (Stereo)  

    January 8, 2012
    4:00 - 4:30pm PST  

after mitt romney's narrow victory in the iowa caucuses. >> we have to make america the best place to be. >> belva davis and paula marinucci arrived from the campaign traiai >>ii all thhard work mitttt omomyyututin,hehe s silil has wk ahead. not only to believe in america but to believe she the ms he is >> calls for deeper cuts, the
health and welfare program and te limb nation of more state jobs and agencies. will california's high speed rail project be derailed? a key review panel says lawmakers should with hold billions in voter approved bonds until a business plan is finalized. also, a conversation with george g gascon, san francisco's newest district attorney. that's coming up next.
good evening. i'm scott shafer sitting in for belva davis who joins us from new hampshire. marisa lagos and paula marinu i marinucci. joining me from new hampshire are belva davis and senior political writer carla marinucci. welcome to you both. >> thanks. >> belva, what has stood out for you? what have you seen? >> well, the fact that i could be here for 24 hours and meet all the leading candidates up close, shake hands if i had chosen to but did not, this is a unique experience being in new hampshire where you have this close contact with men that
declare they want to lead this country. 93% white, 1.1% black, 2. 1% hispanic. in looking for diversity here. >> reporter:s kept coming up to me asking did i live here hoping that i lived here because it is so hard to find someone of my color. if i did, they were usually another reporter. >> obviously a very different kind of place from california which is very diverse. let's talk about, if we can, talk about the candidates. carla, marinucci, rick santorum, the former senator came out of iowa with a real head of steam. she the only conservative in the race, he would say. he did he try to capitalize this weekend. >> he is a staunch conservativc. he is a very good retail campaigner.
we followed him around a gun store today in a small town in new hampshire. very interesting, scott, to see a candidate who can kiss babies in one second and admire semiautomatic weapons in the next. that goes over well with voters. >> which is why california should see what it is like here. >> absolutely right, debelva. santorum is really taking it. some of the other candidates are also getting out there meeting these voters. for that reason what happens in the next couple days here is really going to matter. >> then there is ron paul. the new hampshire state motto is live free or die. how big a splash the paul making there? >> we saw him in an airplane hanger today. he turned out huge crowds, twice as big as expected. he is really going after rick
santorum. he clearly feels santorum is his key -- >> i think the most interesting thing that i discovered today in talking to rn paul supporters, mostly young people, mostly college kids. i said why have you chosen him as your candidate. it helps he believes in legalizing marijuana. >> yeah. >> john huntsman has been practically living in new hampshire the past several weeks. do you have any sense he is getting momentum there? >> that's right. 160 events he has done, scott. this is a guy who is rolling the dice in new hampshire. he is really painting himself as the anti-mitt romney. he talked today about how she the only republican candidate who believes in science. he said that is a concept. he talked about how corporations
are not people. a jab at mitt romney. he was born palo alto. his grandfather was the mayor there. he talked today about the creative class and innovators and now as president he would make the job creation happen among silicon valley entrepreneurs. >> he made a personal commitment at this time here in new hampshire whereas the mitt romney campaign obviously has been spending money. they are the most professional looking group in terms of having the things we're accustom to look for. >> belva, i know you attended a romney event as well as others. describe that. >> he appear eed with john mcca.
after that it was all pretty much scripted. he's really the most professional sounding of the candidates that i have seen. >> i have to say, scott, i found tonight at a spaghetti dinner he is trying to paint himself as connecting to the common man but tonight he was asked about the three homes he owns, including the one he owns in la jolla. >> belva, i know you spoke to voters while you were there. let's take a look and hear what they had to say. >> you actually were leaning towards romney coming in here. he is not so focussed on the present more than he is focussed on the vision for what this country can be. >> in 2007 myself and my family have a company. we have 29 people working for us. now we have seven working for
us. it is important for me to see somebody who has that background get elected as the president of the united states. >> i think i'm going to follow rick. i'm impressed. >> they go on tuesday. primary in new hampshire. they go on to south carolina, florida, nevada. what about california? is there going to be any role for california voters, carla, other than giving them the money they need in other parts of the country. >> so much will depend on how mitt romney comes out of new hampshire. he is expected to win by more than 20 points in some of these polls. if he doesn't then he has to worry about the story line that he is a weak candidate with not a lot of enthusiasm with gop voters. then we are talking about something that possibly could go all the way to california. watching a republican battle if santorum tries to coaless that
conservative base. the gingrich people, perry's people, who knows what could happen. maybe california could have a play finally. >> i think one thing we won't hear the scripts we hear here when they get to california because we hear things from candidates like we must do something. we need to get rid of medicare. their pledges to allegiance to the second amendment. that is why it is important to be introduced to new hampshire. >> great to see you tonight. stay warm. we look forward to hearing more from you. >> thank you, scott. >> thanks, scott. presidential politics. mis marisa lagos, the state budget was released.
what were the high lights? >> governor brown talked about the 9. $2 billion short fall. he is proposing massive cuts. child care spot for poor families would be eliminated. really tough choices i think. voters will pass his $7 billion tax plan next fall. if that doesn't happen brown came out and said kind of out of the box we will cut school funding by almost 5 billion. we will slash universities by hundreds of millions of dollars more. so, a lot of taxes. >> a political ransom note.
>> yeah. >> pass this or else. it may well get cut right? >> he is not making it up. we saw this last year to a certain extent, just before the legislature came back from break, the governor decided to pull the trigger on a lot of these cuts. i think it is not unreasonable to think he will move forward with these cuts. it is also going to depend on a lot of timing. the governor wants lawmakers to pass this budget and all these cuts that included it by march. democrats are not having that. they don't want to do anything until may when they know the updated revenue figures. 4 billion of that $9 billion short fall is kind of rolling over from this year. >> they are in no hurry to see the cuts. >> yeah. >> they would like to wait longer and see what the voters
do? >> i think they would like to wait longer and see what the political climate is like. we have a very unsure sort of terrain this year for candida candidates. i think that is going to be a lot of nervousness in the capital among democrats to vote for this budget. >> can you explain exactly what happened with the release of this idea. was it embarrassing for the governor or what? what went wrong? >> just explain, kind of an insider thing. >> every year the governor has to release a budget plan by january 10. the governor's office has sent out a press release saying they were going to be doing it at 9:00 a.m. on tuesday which was the tenth. everyone was preparing for that. at about 12:45 on thursday, we all got a call saying get over
here at 1:30. within the next ten minutes we had gotten a press release from the governor saying we are going to release the budget at 2:30. somebody had accidentally posted it online early. >> somebody meaning? >> from their staff. >> any idea what happened to that person or who it was? >> they were hedging yesterday saying we know who it wasn't but we're not sure who it was. >> that said, jerry brown, whether you like him or not, is pretty good on his feet. >> yeah. >> in some ways he was kind of enjoying reveling, kind of improvising on the run. >> i think we did see there might have been a couple more talking points. he always speaks sort of off the cuff. he enjoys that. given the sort of tone of this year's budget with the fact that faster years where we needed a
two-th two-thirds majority for the legislature to pass the budget, this is the first time in recent memory they are not asking republicans to come on board for taxes. >> the governor had no success with republicans in the last session. is he going to try to work with them this time around. >> he doesn't need to. he says recently he will go out and start buying the drinks. i think that gives you an indication of where things are in the capital. >> he feels he went the extra length and they didn't meet him half way. >> he doesn't need them. he is going straight to voters. >> governor brown remains pretty steadfastly behind a plan ha is in a lot of trouble for this week, high speed rail, bullet train. tell us what happened.
>> they say it would be wise and risky with them getting started without a firm sense of the rest of the money is going to come from. >> the state has right now enough money to start the first segment of rail which is the rail to no where between fresno and bakersfield. that $6 million on the overall price tag is $98 billion. that makes a lot of people nervous. >> how much credibility do they have? >> a lot. this is the panel that has not been -- this project has just been kicked over and over again, but not always by this panel. this panel has always been critical. this is a well respected group of people with long history in transportation.
their concerns are a real blow to the authority. authority came right back out kicking saying this is unfair. it is wrong. these people don't know what they are talking about. they don't have the high speed rail expertise that we do. >> but they do don't they? >> yes. there is no high speed rail system in this country so howell do they know -- >> but they are not politicians. >> they are not politicians. people with long transportation histories but maybe not high speed rail history. >> the legislature has a choice whether to approve the bond. >> right. >> congress has been making noises, republicans. >> uh-huh. >> seems like democrats are on one side, republicans are on the other. >> in congress too. >> oh, yes. the fear here on the part of the authority is that this sort of runs the risk of becoming really deeply election politics.
obama came in as a big supporter for high speed rail, wanted to put $6 billion in the 2012 budget for high speed rail. republicans took that out. it is very much a political issue at the same time. this is money we either have or we don't. the big question is whether or not the state can break ground by october 2012 because that is the deadline to qualify. >> the voters did authorize $10 billion in bonds in 2008. >> yes. that money is contingent on having some kind of match fr from -- we lose that federal money if we don't make the october deadline. they don't want a successful stimulus program, i think some of them at least. >> they see it as kind of a road back to no where kind of thing? >> yeah. this is money that is going to build 130 miles in the central
valley. it is really not enough money to have a fully operational high speed rail. it is really just building a better set of tracks for amtrak. so, is that initial project going to generate private investment that the project needs? these are not just political concerns. to come back to your question. these are financial concerns. you will be hearing them from both sides. >> i just want to ask -- i don't know if you report on this. in central valley, i know a lot of lawmakers don't like it. >> there will be has been some support. about six months ago, a lot of the lawsuits has been on the northern and southern part of the roots around lrgsa, the peninsula and outside of la. now in kings county. there is concerns just every where about where you are going
to put these tracks. >> just quickly amy, was there some talk maybe this would go backwards. the voters seem to have be having second thoughts. >> yeah. they want to have it put back before the voters which would not go well for high speed rail authority. >> we need to get on it. thank you both very much. >> thank you. former police chief george gascon was sworn in last night as san francisco's district attorney. he was appointed a year ago. won the job in the november election making him the first latino to hold that office. i spoke with him earlier. >> george gascon, welcome. good to have you here. i want to begin with some crime statistics that came out this week in san francisco. crime rate has been historically low. 50 murders i believe in 2011. that's down more than it has
been in the last several years. yet down in san jose the number of murders have doubled. we have seen a rise. what makes the difference in one community to another when it comes to particularly violent crimes? >> there is a variety of factors. san francisco had very high murder rates until 2008. frankly most major citiesograph down. 2009 was sort of the turn around year. mid-year we brought it down to 45. 2010 was 50. 2011, 50. >> you were the police chief. >> yes, for the two years. 2009 and 2010. >> having god policing.
having officers and having a didn't that understands the role that focuses more and understands who is committing the crimes and puts the attention in those places. >> your didn't like all law enforcement is having to do more with less, budget cuts. i'm sure you are facing another round of those in this coming budget year so you have to be more efficient. you have to do things that are cost effective. how do you evaluate that. >> the state is going through a complete restoration of the criminal justice. the current year budget with ab 109 realignment, it began to lose a lot of what used to be the responsibility of penalties. it consequently started to impact the way we do business. now, our obviously our whole country is having cutbacks.
there is actually some opportunities here. it is not all bad. >> like what? >> i think it forces us to be smarter. in our case, frankly we're looking in a lot of different ways how to reduce the number of cases that are tried. one of the things i started to do at the beginning of my administration in 2011, four stations by the end of the year will be at every station. the lower cases are at the hall of justice waiting to be tried. we are moving them to neighborhood courts. they restore the justice model. you have mediators where they are better equipped to understand what is important to their community. we can do things very quickly and get a resolution. >> you mentioned realignment.
i think 2012 is going to be a big issue for criminal justice issues. on the ballot you may have a repeal of the death penalty. three streaks s three streaks trikes so that th has to be a violent one. where do you stand on that? that is one of the reasons the crime rate is so low, some say. do you agree? >> if you compare us to other states new york does not have three streaks. yet, the state of new york has seen larger crime drops in the last ten years or so than we have seen in california. i believe that three strikes needs to be reformed. i speak in favor of it and will continue to do so. i think this is the type of
reengineering that is necessary. >> what about the death penalty? >> i am against the death penalty. >> is that a change? >> it is not a change. i think often during the campaign i think my push in the death penalty was somewhat mischaracterized. i don't believe that i should simply dismiss what the law says we should do. having said that, i made it very clear during the campaign that i will not be seeking the death penalty in san francisco. i firmly believe that given the totality of the circumstances surrounding the death penalty, the costs that it takes to implement the death penalty, the fact that it has such impact and that it is irreversible, i think we would be much better off repealing. >> we are getting to the end. you were born in cuba, came to
the u.s. when you were 13. dropped out of high school in los angeles. how does that color the way you look at the issues of crime and punishment. >> first of all, coming from a country where, it was a police state. everything was controlled by the government. i really learned to appreciate the fact that we have a system here of law. due process. then having been raised quite frankly in a very rough lower socioeconomic neighborhood i got to know the difference between good policing and bad policing and bringing that to the table today. >> george gascon, good luck in your job. you have earned it. >> thank you. >> that is all the time we have. marisa lagos, carla marinucci,
thank you very much. there is on going coverage of the new hampshire primary as well. i'm scott shafer. belva davis will be back next week. thanks for watching. good night.